Conservation and Environmental Management in Madagascar  book cover
1st Edition

Conservation and Environmental Management in Madagascar

Edited By

Ivan R. Scales

ISBN 9780415528764
Published April 1, 2016 by Routledge
398 Pages

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Book Description

Madagascar is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, the result of 160 million years of isolation from the African mainland. More than 80% of its species are not found anywhere else on Earth. However, this highly diverse flora and fauna is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and the island has been classified as one of the world’s highest conservation priorities. 

Drawing on insights from geography, anthropology, sustainable development, political science and ecology, this book provides a comprehensive assessment of the status of conservation and environmental management in Madagascar. It describes how conservation organisations have been experimenting with new forms of protected areas, community-based resource management, ecotourism, and payments for ecosystem services. But the country must also deal with pressing human needs. The problems of poverty, development, environmental justice, natural resource use and biodiversity conservation are shown to be interlinked in complex ways. Authors address key questions, such as who are the winners and losers in attempts to conserve biodiversity? And what are the implications of new forms of conservation for rural livelihoods and environmental justice?

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Conservation at the Crossroads: Biological Diversity, Environmental Change and Natural Resource Use in Madagascar 

Ivan R. Scales 

Part 1: Madagascar’s Biological Diversity: From Deep Time to the Arrival of Humans 

2. Explaining Madagascar’s Biodiversity 

Jörg U. Ganzhorn, Lucienne Wilmé and Jean-Luc Mercier 

3. Early Human Settlers and their Impact on Madagascar’s Landscapes 

Robert E. Dewar 

Part 2: Paradise Lost? The Myths, Narratives and Received Wisdoms at the Heart of Conservation Research and Policy 

4. Deforestation in Madagascar: Debates over the Island’s Forest Cover and Challenges of Measuring Forest Change 

William J. McConnell and Christian A. Kull 

5. The Drivers of Deforestation and the Complexity of Land Use in Madagascar 

Ivan R. Scales 

Part 3: The Politics of Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Management 

6. A Brief History of the State and the Politics of Natural Resource use in Madagascar 

Ivan R. Scales 

7. The Roots, Persistence, and Character of Madagascar’s Conservation Boom 

Christian A. Kull 

8. The Transfer of Natural Resource Management Rights to Local Communities 

Jacques Pollini, Neal Hockley, Frank Muttenzer and Bruno Ramamonjisoa 

9. Conservation Politics in Madagascar: The Expansion of Protected Areas 

Catherine Corson 

10. The Durban Vision in practice: Experiences in the Participatory Governance of Madagascar’s New Protected Areas 

Malika Virah-Sawmy, Charlie J. Gardner and Nanie A. Ratsifandrihamanana 

Part 4: Making Conservation Pay? Incentive-Based Conservation, the Commodification of Madagascar’s nature and Conflicting Views of Landscape and Nature 

11. Tourism, Conservation and Development in Madagascar: Moving Beyond Panaceas? 

Ivan R. Scales 

12. Bioprospecting a Biodiversity Hotspot: The Political Economy of Natural Products Drug Discovery for Conservation Goals in Madagascar 

Benjamin D. Neimark and Laura M. Tilghman 

13. Incentivising Forest Conservation: Payments for Environmental Services and Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation 

Laura Brimont and Cécile Bidaud 

14. Contrasting Visions of Nature and Landscapes 

Jeffrey C. Kaufmann 

15. Conclusion: The Future of Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Management in Madagascar: Lessons from the Past and Challenges Ahead 

Ivan R. Scales

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Ivan R. Scales is McGrath Lecturer in Human Geography, St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, UK.


"The relations between society and nature in Madagascar are complex and often misunderstood. This book offers new light on this subject by exploring the social, political and economic dimensions of conservation and development challenges."W.M. Adams, Moran Professor of Conservation and Development, University of Cambridge, UK

"The challenges laid down by Scales are a must read for those seeking to understand the current plight of the island and anyone with an interest in the environmental future of Madagascar... It is a timely text that should be required reading for anyone seeking to acquaint themselves with the environmental problems of Madagascar. The work offers very good socio-economic and political background on the island’s conservation history, and, with an eye to the future, the concluding chapter offers suggested research and policy priorities that need to be addressed." - Clive Nuttman in Conservation Biology (2015)

"It tries to look at both the misinformation that has underlain much of the received wisdom on conservation in Madagascar, while also examining in considerable detail the politics of conservation and environmental management... In summary, a useful book." - Bulletin of the British Ecological Society

"The volume is highly interdisciplinary and international, and its overarching concern is the sometimes cooperative, sometimes antagonistic relationship between environmental conservation and human development. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and researchers/faculty."CHOICE, W. Arens, Stony Brook University